BY JOSH GREEN (@JoshGreenMedia)
The BDO World Trophy returns to Eurosport this Friday as one of the British Darts Organisation’s premier events comes to the King George’s Hall in Blackburn.
A field of 32 men and 16 women will take the Lancashire stage over three days of action as the champion are crowned on Sunday evening.
The event commences at Friday lunchtime with the opening round of the men’s competition, where we will see number one seed Richard Veenstra kick off proceedings.
He faces Australia’s Justin Thompson in a race to six legs as he looks to claim his first major title in the BDO. ‘Flyers’ won the Dutch Open and Isle of Man open earlier in the season, so will looking to continue his momentum in Blackburn.
Recent Swedish Open finalist Wayne Warren is second to take to the stage, facing a qualifier from Thursday’s last-chance qualification tournament.
One of the standout ties of the opening session sees reigning World Masters champion Adam Smith-Neale take on former World finalist Andy Hamilton. ‘The Hammer’ made his BDO World Championship bow earlier in the year, and has continued to grind out some impressive results since.
On the other hand, Smith-Neale’s world glory chances were scuppered in January by a serious leg injury meaning he was easily defeated by New Zealand’s Mark McGrath. ‘Big Dog’ is back at full health as he looks to show the darting world what he’s made of.
Another standout tie in the opening session sees Wales’ Nick Kenny face Kyle McKinstry. The 26-year-old from Newport has plenty of momentum going into the tournament having recently won the Belgium and French Open. McKinstry is yet to better his BDO World Championship quarter-final appearance in 2019, but has upped his consistency in recent months. If both players can reach their potential, this could be match of the afternoon.
Gary Robson and Joe Chaney will tie up the afternoon session in Blackburn as we reach the halfway stage in round one. Newcastle’s number one has enjoyed a resurgence in recent months, after a final appearance in the Romanian Open and several deep runs, he is seeded seventh in his tie against the American import.
The evening session begins with a sensational looking tie, pitching number three seed Wesley Harms against Paul Hogan. The latter has reached two quarter-final’s in the last six months, meanwhile ‘Sparky’ is enjoying one of his most successful seasons in the BDO, securing four titles since January. But the former Electrician is still waiting patiently for that maiden major crown.
Later in the session we will see two of England’s finest throwers clash on the Blackburn stage. A two-time World Champion in Scott Waites will face the in-form Daniel Day for a place in the last 16. Waites has failed to find success at the World Trophy in previous years, but will be looking to right those wrongs when he faces his English adversary on Friday evening.
Tournament favourite Jim Williams will be made to wait until he debuts on the King George’s Hall stage. A 2019 World Championship semi-finalist, the Welshman is also yet to win a major event despite being a high seed in recent tournaments. Could this be the weekend for Williams?
He will face former Premier League player Wez Newton, another player that is now enjoying a resurgent season in the BDO. The Lancashire native was disappointed with his performance at Lakeside in 2019, but after some improved results in the past few weeks, will be looking to rectify those mistakes at his home tournament.
We will wrap up the first round with arguably the tie of the round. Two players who would otherwise be favourites to progress go head to head in a tasty looking match-up.
Dave Parletti already has two titles under his belt in 2019, as well as a handful of semi-final appearances. His opponent, Martijn Kleermaker, is many people’s dark horse for the tournament having wont he Welsh Open just three months ago.
Friday 30th Aug – Men’s last 32
Afternoon session - Games to commence at 12 noon
(1) Richard Veenstra (NED) v Justin Thompson (AUS)
(9) Wayne Warren (WAL) v Qualifier 4
(12) Mario Vandenbogaerde (BEL) v Brian Lokken (DEN)
(13) Ross Montgomery (SCO) v Sebastian Steyer (POL)
(14) Andy Hamilton (ENG) v Adam Smith-Neale (ENG)
(16) Kyle McKinstry (NIR) v Nick Kenny (WAL)
(15) Derk Telenekes (NED) v Qualifier 1
(7) Gary Robson (ENG) v Joe Chaney (USA)
Evening session – Games to commence at 6pm
(3) Wesley Harms (NED) v Paul Hogan (ENG)
(11) Chris Landman (NED) v Mark McGrath (NZL)
(10) Willem Mandigers (NED) v Qualifier 3
(8) Scott Waites (ENG) v Dan Day (ENG)
(4) Scott Mitchell (ENG) v Qualifier 2
(5) Michael Unterbuchner (GER) v Roger Janssen (BEL)
(2) Jim Williams (WAL) v Wez Newton (ENG)
(6) Dave Parletti (ENG) v Martijn Kleermaker (NED)
Tickets are on sale for the event direct from the venue; the King Georges Hall in Blackburn. Tickets are just £15.00 a session, or available at a discounted day rate of £25.00 if you want to watch both sessions! Visit the website at https://www.kinggeorgeshall.com/whats-on/bdo-world-darts/ or you can call 01254 582579 to book your tickets today!
Photo - Jim Williams - courtesy of Simon Drake Photography/TipTopPics ©